Authors Posts by S T

S T

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“I have recently experienced this thing when I came across a situation where I was traveling to Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh.

I saw this elderly woman lying near Govt District Hospital in a very pitiful situation. Initially, I was hesitating to help her thinking she might be mentally ill but finally I approached her and asked ” Amma kya hua kuchh madat karu? khana laau?” and she agreed in native language.

I bought some food and sat near her and helped her eating that food. I did the same activity on the same evening, worrying about what will happen to her when I will be going back to my work after 2 days ,how will she service.

But then, I experienced something, two young guys approached me and said that they also wanted to help this old lady but were hesitating. They said that her relatives left her here to die and they were thinking if we can ask some NGO or old age home to take her and help her.

Suddenly, the conversation converted into a mission and we decided to dedicate the next day for this activity.

On the morning of September 6, we talked to sir Amarjeet SinghSudan ji, a well-known social worker in Indore. He asked us to send some details and photos so that he can talk to some NGOs, we clicked some photos and we thought to share it on social media as well just to fasten the operation.

By noon, Amarjeet ji confirmed that there is bed arranged at Ujjain and we need a letter from police authority for approval. But due to some technical reasons, that was getting delayed as police authorities could not approve it without background verification.

Meanwhile, the message spread over social media, and we got so many help calls from some individuals and NGOs and also from some journalists, who after learning about the problem, they suggested to go to the SP office and collector’s office and also said that they have contacted them and we just need to approach them and all help will be done.

As soon as we reached to Khargone collector Mr Verma, he immediately called the CMHO and other authorities to help the elderly woman. Even before we could reach back to that location, this elderly women was already taken care and admitted to the hospital and administration told us that after she gets recovered, she will be transferred to some old age home.

The magical thing is that all these above circumstances took place in less than 12 hours.

This inspires and motivates not only us but to many people around that if we really want to do something good for someone, there will be plenty of hands, NGOs, Media, Administration to support us, just take the first step.

If you really want to help others, people will join you.”

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A detailed analysis by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) that represents over 4,50,000 business entities reveals that, only 7% of the graduates from Indian business schools are employable.

The study says that, “Barring a few handful of top B-schools such as the government run IIMs, most of the 5,500 B-schools are producing sub-par graduates.” This has resulted in them earning less than Rs. 10,000 a month, if at all they find placements.

The study further pointed out that the primary reason for the unfolding of this disastrous education system was the lack of quality control and infrastructure, low-paying jobs through campus placement, poor faculty and outdated curriculum.

This is why some of India’s B-schools both approved and otherwise are going out of business. In the past few years more than 220 of these have shut down in cities such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad etc., 120 more are expected to wind up by the end of 2016.

Students spend nearly Rs. 3 to 5 lakh on a two year MBA programme however their current monthly salary is a measly Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000. A similar observation was made about engineering graduates, 20-30% of which, find jobs well below their technical qualifications.

This is a grim especially in the light of the news, about Indian economy being poised to hit a double digit growth.
Initiatives such as the “Make In India” demand skilled manpower. The current situation presents a harsh irony.

The Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was quoted saying in January that, ” if ( the situation is) not reversed quickly we will land ourselves in a scenario where we have a large number of people with degrees but not enough manpower with proficiency to meet the emerging requirement of our industrial and other sectors.”

The education system has been a failure at the primary level as well. The government schools are in shambles. They are facing an acute shortage of efficient and skilled teachers.

A German word, often quoted by Einstein, aptly describes the present state of the Indian education system. The word “Kadavergehorsam” which means ‘the obedience of a corpse’, precisely what our education institutions are breeding young Indians into.

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Now you will be able to drive your car/two-wheeler without carrying the physical copy of your driving licence and registration certificate. Thanks to the newly-launched service by the government called DigiLocker. The cloud storage system launched on Wednesday will enable users to store all their government documents in digital format.

The service was launched by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi. This will help in integration of mobile application DigiLocker with the driving licence and vehicle registration certificate. You just need to have an Aadhaar card linked to your cell number to open an account.

Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration documents can now be issued directly to the Digilockers of individuals in digital formats. These can also be shared with other departments for verification purpose.

Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said: “the integration will bring a paradigm shift in the vision of paperless governance. It will serve to bring agility and efficiency to the entire process of issuance of driving licenses and vehicle registration certificates through IT enablement.”

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The woe of life and the struggle to earn a living pose a challenge to any self-respected individual.

The challenge of the man standing at the entry of Harminder Sahib in Amritsar is no less than an inspiration. He has been selling ‘murmure chikki’ for the past 54 years keeping the target of 100 packets but ends up selling approximately 40 packets. It is hard for him to match the target of 100. but he says that 100 packet sale is quiet far off…he ends up selling apx 40 packs.

The 80 year old tries to grab passer-by’s attention but hardly find anyone’s kind gesture.

If you meet him, help him to achieve his target so he may go home early and relax. He is nearing 80 years and have responsibility of home.

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Swati Mahadik, the widow of Colonel Santosh Mahadik who was killed during a search operation in Kupwara in November is all set to follow her husband’s footsteps and adorn the army colours.

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This, after she cleared the SSB (Service Selection Board) exam. She will now undergo training at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai, for 11 months before joining the army.

“There was no emotion, no happiness or sadness. Just numbness. It seemed routine, even though I had worked so hard for it in the last few months. I guess because there was no one to celebrate the news with,” she said.

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Swati, a graduate from University of Pune, had at her husband’s funeral expressed her intention to join the army as a tribute to her husband.

The mother of two said she was selected on merit and was not given any special consideration “The only concession the Army gives for widows of martyrs is age concession and that’s all I got too. After that, all candidates are on a par, be it the written exam or the interview or the fitness tests.”

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Swati’s husband, Colonel Santosh Mahadik was the commanding officer of the 41 Rashtriya Rifles. While on a search operation for suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, he was killed by in a gunfire.

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The multi-dollar telecom venture will open its door for everyone in the market today. After the successful execution of their trial period, where a handful of customers were chosen to use the product, Ambani revealed Jio’s plan and launched it for everyone to use. All services are free to use till December 1.

Consumers across the country can avail Reliance Jio’s services from today, as the company opens its doors to all potential users having any 4G-enabled handset in an aggressive quest to garner 100 million subscribers.

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According to sources, the Jio SIM — which so far was available only at Reliance Digital stores — will now also be offered through multi-brand outlets and mobile phone shops.

“The SIMs will be available at nearly two lakh stores across the country, including locations where SIMs from other vendors are also sold,” sources said.

A major beneficiary of the offer would be users of devices like iPhone, Xiaomi, Motorola and Lenovo who were not a part of the preview offer so far. RJio, which had already roped in 1.5 million users in the test phase, is gunning for 100 million users at the shortest possible time.

Nearly 20 brands including Sony, Sansui, Videocon, LG, Samsung, Micromax, Panasonic, Asus, TCL, Alcatel, HTC, Intex, Vivo, Gionee, Karbonn and Lava were part of the preview offer which provided free 90-day unlimited calls and high-speed mobile broadband trials to 4G smartphone users of these brands.

The offer is now being rebranded as a ‘welcome offer’, which from September 5 will provide unlimited services till up to December 31, after which users have been promised voice calls – both local and STD – as well as roaming free of cost, for life.

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The data charges are also pegged as low as Rs 50 per GB, compared to Rs 250 a GB prevailing in the market.

The process of procuring the SIM, said sources, will now be simpler with eKYC, which does not require consumers to physically fill out lengthy forms and wait for an equally lengthy verification process.
The form filling and verification is done using Aadhaar data and the customer’s fingerprint and the facility is being rolled out at various locations.

“At the time of taking the SIM, consumers will have to choose plans – prepaid or postpaid – and they will continue to get free services until December 31, after which tariff plans opted for will become applicable,” sources said.

The company has introduced 10 tariff plans beginning with a one-day plan at Rs 19 for occasional data users going all the way up to Rs 4,999 a month for heavy data users.

Reliance is also offering a Jio apps bouquet worth Rs 15,000, complimentary to all active Jio customers up to December 31, 2017.

In the Rs 19 prepaid plan, users will get 100 MB data and 100 SMSes for a day, apart from unlimited free voice calling. The Rs 149 plan, available for both prepaid and postpaid users, will offer 300 MB data and 100 SMSes with a validity of about a month.

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Under the Rs 4,999 plan, users will get 75GB of 4G data as well as unlimited 4G access at night for a period of 28 days or one month for prepaid and postpaid users, respectively.

Other plans would be available for Rs 129 (prepaid only), Rs 299 (prepaid only), Rs 499, Rs 999, Rs 1,499, Rs 2,499, and Rs 3,999.

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Headlining the largest Indian contingent at any Paralympic Games is one-armed javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, who will be aiming to add to his impressive list of achievements in Rio de Janeiro when the event gets underway on September 7. India’s top para-athlete, the 35-year-old from Rajasthan’s Churu district is expected to win more laurels for the country.

Devendra, of India won the gold in the Javelin mens 800g F/44/F46 in the IWAS games at Kanteerava stadium in Bangalore on Saturday.

Jhajharia’s achievements include winning gold medals at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games, 2002 FESPIC Games in South Korea and 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, apart from silver at the same event in 2015 and one at the 2014 Asian Games. In fact, his gold at the World Championships in 2013 was the first ever for India.

He remains one of only two Indians to win a Paralympic gold and holds the world record in the javelin throw.

Jhajharia’s success – made tougher against the backdrop of financial disabilities – is testament to his willpower and physical prowess. In an interview with The Hindu this year, he recalled the day that his life changed. “I must have been eight or nine years old when I got an electric shock. I was climbing a tree in my village and accidentally touched a live cable, which was apparently an 11,000-volt cable. So severe was the accident that let alone my left hand — it had to be amputated right away — nobody was sure whether I would be able to recover from it,” remembered Jhajharia.

Devendra, of India won the gold in the Javelin mens 800g F/44/F46 in the IWAS games at Kanteerava stadium in Bangalore on Saturday.

On his career graph since winning gold at Athens 2004, he said: “I feel I have been a consistent performer for well over a decade. Even after breaking the world record in 2004, I created the championship record while winning the gold medal at the World Championship in 2013. After that in 2014 at the Incheon Asian Games, I won silver. And not too long ago, I won silver medal in at the World Championship. Another big change I have noticed is that sports has got more and more importance in India. Every Indian wants to watch, if not play, sport. Fifteen years ago, it was a different world, but now everyone wants Indian sports to improve and a lot of people and institutions like GoSports are striving to achieve it.”

A former Indian Railways staffer now employed by the Sports Authority of India, Jhajharia is coached by Dronacharya awardee RD Singh. He received the Padma Shri in 2012.

 

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Almost 100 kg of waste including plastic bags, socks, nails and other waste products were found in the stomach of a cow in Ahmedabad. The doctors of the Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad were shocked to discover this when the cow was brought to them for treatment.

The cow was rescued from the Sabarmati area, informed Kartik Sastri, one of the doctors at the trust. When she was brought for treatment, the doctor found out that the cow was pregnant. She was not in good health and was rather weak. She underwent a couple of treatment, but in spite of that, she was unable to walk. This was when the doctor decided to operate her to see what’s wrong.

On the operation table, the doctors were shocked to find tons of garbage inside her stomach. The garbage included screws, worn-out tools, wires, pieces of ragged clothes and even banned plastic bags. The doctors said that they removed three buckets of garbage from her stomach. Kartik Shastri later said that this is not the first time they are encountering such an event. Earlier they have operated and removed around 40 kgs of plastic bags from the stomach of the cow.

He further added that the garbage that is scattered all across the city and has the cows feeding on them has the maximum of plastic waste. The cow that was brought to them had 98 kgs of plastic waste in her stomach. That is why he is pleading everyone to stick to the rule laid out by the ministry of forest and environment which says that plastic bags less than 4 microns shall be banned everywhere. He said that this rule must be strictly implemented if we want to save our environment, cattle, and the ecology.

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Economic inequality is the second highest in India at 54% after Russia, where 62% of the nation’s total wealth is concentrated in the hands of few individuals. Detailed analysis by a research firm in Johannesburg, New World Wealth reported the statistics earlier this week for every nation in terms of ‘wealth concentration’.

Although India ranked among the 10 richest countries in the world with a total individual wealth of $5,600 billion, the average Indian continues to remain in abject poverty. The report quoted that, “the higher the proportion the more unequal the country is.” Hence, if the millionaires control over 50 percent of a country’s wealth, then there is very little space for economic distribution among the middle class.

Japan ranked as the most equal country, with millionaires accounting for only 22 percent of the total wealth. The United States showed surprising results with only 32 percent of the nation’s wealth being controlled by millionaires. This is astonishing, considering the widespread negative media coverage that the US gets in terms of income inequality.

UK was slightly less equal in comparison to the US, with 35 percent of its wealth concentrated. Australia ranked closer to Japan, with millionaires owning 28 percent of the national wealth.

Russia also tops the list in terms of high net worth individuals with almost 26 percent of the billionaires, having a net worth of over $1 billion.

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The image that we generally have in mind of an Indian village constitutes rugged roads, frequent power cuts, improperly working schools and hand pumps. However, if one were to visit Punsari village in Gujarat, it is a completely different story.
Located in Sabarkantha district and some 90km from Ahmedabad in Gujarat state, this village has some of the facilities quite uncharacteristic of a typical Indian village.

A Modern Village

The village has concrete roads, a RO plant for water purification, solar-powered streetlights, a primary health centre, banking facility, a toilet in every home and a proper sanitation and drainage system, which is completely underground.
Adding on to the list the village has air-conditioned primary schools equipped with CCTV cameras and smart education technology, speakers at key junctions, Wi-Fi connectivity and an independent Panchayat-run bus service.
The credit for this astonishing transformation of Punsari goes to their Sarpanch, Himanshu Patel.
Mr.Patel, first elected Sarpanch in 2006 at the age of 23, is a graduate and a tech-savvy man. He leads an 11-member committee which runs the village affairs. Of these, five are women.

How it started?

Six years ago, this village had no sewerage connection, no streetlights and not even concrete roads.
“When I took over, there was nothing in the village,” says the young sarpanch.
“The panchayat was dependent on grants from various state and central government schemes. We also did not get NRI finance like some villages do that have a significant diaspora overseas. My team and I decided we must make sensible use of state government funds and earn revenue from the land at our disposal,” he says.
Mr Patel says they have harnessed state and national level developmental schemes to create infrastructure in the village which rivals the best in any part of the country. The total expenditure is around 16 crores over a period of eight years.
The village panchayat had a capital of Rs 25,000 seven years ago. Today, the deposits have soared to Rs 45 lakh

Awards and Recognition

For his efforts, Himanshu Narendrabhai Patel was awarded with the best Gram Sabha award at the third National Panchayati Raj Day held at New Delhi. In November 2011, he received the best Gram Panchayat award in Gujarat from Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The village’s model was also appreciated by delegates from Nairobi and they were keen to replicate this in Kenyan villages.

Advanced Facilities in the village

“We have installed 140 waterproof speakers at strategic locations in the village. The speakers not only broadcast bhajans, shlokas and Gandhian philosophy, but also keep people informed about the new schemes, government regulations and projects that they can avail of,” he says.
The village is also increasingly moving towards digitalisation, says Patel. “When we made Punsari a Wi-Fi village, only a few youngsters used the Internet. Now a sizeable number uses computers and smart phones. A lot of villagers have also started applying for recruitment and various schemes online,” he says.
There are two primary schools in Punsari and the school drop-out rate is zero. To keep a check on quality and ensure regularity of classes, CCTVs have also been installed in all schools. The classrooms are well-equipped and also have education technology aids such as projectors.
While many in the cities lack an insurance cover, every person in the village has a cover of Rs 1 lakh and a medi-claim policy of Rs 25,000. The village panchayat pays an annual premium of Rs 25 lakh against the insurance. The Reverse Osmosis plant in the village supplies 20-litre cans to houses for a token amount of Rs 4.
With all these advancements, if the idea was to stop migration out of the village, it has been a partial success. Mr Patel says 15-20 families have returned to the village from the cities like Mumbai in recent years. He has even proposed Government of Gujarat to set up GIDC nearby so that youngsters don’t need to migrate for job.

Move towards Replication of the Model

In June 2014, the additional secretary of the Rural Development ministry of the Union government visited the village to study this model so that it can be replicated across 640 districts in India.
Patel said the visit was prompted by the PMO and adds that more than 300 officials have made similar visits from all over India to recreate similar villages.
“The model can be easily replicated in India. It only takes smart planning, dedicated people participation and a non-corrupt system,” says Patel.

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While returning late from office yesterday, I had an encounter with one of the most inspiring men I have ever met.

Anandji (my Uber driver) : “Hi, how was your day?” (in superbly fluent English)

Me: (slightly stunned) : “I am good, thank you, Sir!”

Post a couple of office calls, I settle down for the long ride home.

Anandji :”So how long do you think this e-commerce bubble will last? ”

Me: (more stunned)” Dont know, Sir, I have my own issues to worry about than this.”

Me: “Sir, what’s your deal.. You don’t seem to be the average Uber driver.”

Anandji: “Ohh I am an IIT K graduate from 1986. I was working in the US and India for the past 30 years and I gave it all up to do my own entrepreneurial stuff. I now have 50 cars plying with Uber and I have a couple of strawberry farms in Mysore.”

Me: “Then why are you driving this car around.”

Anandji : “Oh, this car met with an accident a few days back and my Uber driver died. His family is too humble to take the money, so I figured the only way I can help is to drive the car on his behalf and let the income from Uber keep flowing. And I feel happy doing this.”

I don’t feel ashamed saying I cried a little.